November 25, 2003 by



Categories: Misc.

snowflake.jpg Copito de Nieve (a.k.a. Snowflake), an extremely rare albino gorilla, was euthanized on Nov. 24 after his health deteriorated from skin cancer. He was between 38 and 40 years old.
The gorilla was found in the central African country of Equatorial Guinea in 1966. He spent the past 37 years at the Barcelona Zoo, where he fathered 22 offspring with three different females. None were born albino.
The most popular resident of the zoo, Snowflake was once featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine. City officials may soon erect a statue at the zoo to commemorate him.

10 Responses to Snowflake

  1. Kobie Metherell

    Snowflake,you took my breathe away when I first laid eyes on you in January this year(’03).I been mad about your breed and cousins for some years and have 1000’s of newpaper,photo’s,cards ,toys and everything you can possilbly think of.You will be in my heart always and I will see you again, love grilla girl Kobie

  2. M Williams

    Hello all those who remember Snowflake,
    I am currently researching into white animals (not necessarily albinos) I’m making films and audio recordings in Amsterdam, and would very much like to correspond with any people that have strong recollections of Snowflake.
    Please contact me at
    if you would be interested in participating in a project about this amazing Gorilla.
    Many thanks, and looking forward to hearing from you
    Michelle Williams

  3. Robert Williams

    Snowflake was the cover story on the March 1967 issue of National Geographic magazine. It has a number of photos and a write up on his discovery and first two weeks amongst humans. Anyone interested in Snowflake should definitely find a copy of this.

  4. anna

    Snowflake i just learned about you 2 days ago thru a friend (Cathy) who has a National Geographic Magazine collections.. the moment i saw you i was smittened by you, you were just a baby then munching on a sugar cane and banana and how cute you are in that picture being bathed. I said I have to find out more about you the soonest.. I was sorrow strickened to find out you passed away..I was two years late but the day I found out you already passed away was the day you came alive and real in my heart and thoughts.. I will tell stories about you to my friends, family and future kids.

  5. Catherine Arguelles

    I knew snokflake all my life. My Father is a National Geographic Magazine subscriber. The SNOWFLAKE cover story issue was one of my favorite. Back on second grade, i brought the magazine in shool as a part of a science report. Not All kids knew about snowflake back then, My report, ME and snowflake made quite a history that day..HE WAS REMEBERED, i was made famous in class, in school…ha.ha! Recently, my bestfriend (anna) came over my house. She went over our NAtional geographic mag, Told her, “did u know about THE WHITR GORILLA”?– she doesn’t…So i handed her the Snowflake issue… IT WAS A LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT for anna….and for me, it’s like seeing an old friend’s been years since i last hold that magazine… I love snowflake. He’s Just one of GOd’s wonderful creation. A gift that Brought Joy to Mankind whom knew him. He’s death brought me sorrows. He sure will be one of my favorite story to my future kids, on…

  6. Kendra Murphy

    It was like I had lost an old dear friend when I found out about Snowflake dying. I cried. I remember falling in love with him when that issue of National Geographic came out and forever having a great respect for all gorillas. I even did my 9th grade research paper on Snowflake …way back then! To this day, I love to photograph gorillas.

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